AKA Four Minutes of Hell!
In the post a couple of days ago about my 5 favourite fitness apps, I mentioned a little thing called Tabata. Clued up gym bunnies will already be fully aware of this fitness phenomenon, but if this is all new to you, then let me enlighten you. Not just cardio (although this will leave you panting) and not just resistance (you don’t actually need any free weights), Tabata offers the benefits of both types of training, but without hours spent racking up the cardio minutes or pushing iron. If you’ve heard of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), then this is it, folks. Head boy of that school of training. Superstar of the fat loss, body conditioning devotees.
Originally founded in Japan (but I won’t bore you with the full history here) it is essentially a 4 minute session, broken up thus: 20 seconds of flat-out, as-much-as-you-can-do intense training, 10 seconds rest, all repeated 8 times…totalling you up to a session of 4 minutes. In an ideal world, you’d do 4 different exercises, making a total of 16 minutes actual training, with a minute’s rest between each round, so in theory, you’d be done in twenty minutes – yay! Working on the principle of Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, the fabulous effect of this type of workout is that the afterburn is immense – you continue to burn calories for upto 24 hours after. More bang for your workout buck, I’d say.
You can include just about any exercise within this, be it squats, lunges, pushups, even running on the spot; just make sure you follow the basic protocols: keep going until the twenty seconds are up, don’t stop before, even if you have to slow down and make sure to take 10 seconds rest in between.
Please don’t forget this is super-strenuous on the body (although it might not seem so, just wait till you try!). If you’re not that fit at the moment, either try something else beforehand to build up to this, or just start with one or two rounds until you feel fit enough to go the whole 4-rounds. And as ever, check with a doctor before you start any exercise regime.
If you fancy
having a laugh at my expense seeing some of these exercises in motion, make sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube Channel, here, where I’ll be posting a short video of it all in action tomorrow!